On Loving Well

Wednesday February 13, 2019

On Loving Well

Doesn’t it seem like most couples you know are, somehow, total opposites? On a trivial level, one person is always freezing while the other starts sweating when temps hit 70; he’s a night owl with an insatiable sweet tooth, she’s an early bird with a consistent preference for savory. One’s a numbers person, the other thinks in colorful abstracts. And while these superficial disparities are humorous, even endearing, quirks about your partner, more fundamental differences often cause real frustration, hurt, and heartache.

The same can be said about most relationships - friendships, family ties, roommates, coworkers - and even two people in the healthiest relationships will struggle to love, understand, and forgive one another. In truth, it’s in the struggle of learning to do just those things that relationships are refined and restored. While our culture portrays love as passionate, extravagant, and sentimental, I’m learning that it is actually faithful and patient, slow to anger and quick (to try) to understand, in the repetitive rhythms of real life. To acknowledge that with a little shift in perspective, your partner’s differences actually become strengths - to appreciate and embrace the things that make your loved ones uniquely them.

On this Valentine’s Day, yes, let’s exchange the chocolates and gifts with our partners, send a heartfelt card to Mom and shower our kiddos with treats. And then let’s keep it up beyond the second week of February: exchange more words of appreciation and a quick hugs in the kitchen, send more thoughtful snail mail throughout the year, shower your babies with affection every chance you get. If Valentine’s Day accomplishes anything, it reminds us that meaningful relationships require intention and that the greatest Love covers all.

to loving well,